“If people want to make a positive case for institutional care, then fine, but it must be done on its own terms, not using smoke and mirrors and we must be clear about the difference between it and community-based support.
I’ve no doubt that congregate care ‘settings’ are capable of being more human-sized and shaped, more centred on the personhood and identity of people living there, better able to respect and nurture people’s autonomy within the limits of such settings, and so on.”
This is a thought provoking blog. The language around the word ‘institution’ is viewed negatively when describing residential care. Institutionalistion is a bad thing in the view of the author. Yet we all live our lives in institutions of some sort – the household being the most common – and we largely behave according to institutional rules – like marriage for example. So institutional living, like lifestyles, can have both benefits and harms.
Community living is made of many different types of institution and ways of doings things are institutionalised all in the pursuit of a ‘good community’. Homes, including care homes, are integral to the fabric of a community where people live their lives. They permit lifestyle choices which become institutionalised.
The author is absolutely correct in stating that institutions must not deny people their rightful power and control to make choices. This applies as much to relationships, families, and the community as it does to care homes. (Ed. MakingHomeHome)
The blog can be read in full at…